Side shrinking, growing and staying cautious

After laying off 10% of its workforce, Side has expanded into new markets

Side has assembled new brokerage teams even as the San Francisco-based company has laid off 10% of its workforce in May and the housing market has become hugely volatile.

The brokerage has in the past three weeks brought on Anthem, Arizona-based Collective Real Estate and Boston-based Signal Real Estate. They also brought on Heather Herr, whose Cincinnati’s Team Herr, was named the no. 1 small team in Ohio in RealTrend’s 2021 rankings.

Three Charleston, South Carolina agents – Jason Wang, Christopher Smith and Nate Gainey – moved to create, Side’s first team in the Palmetto State.

Side is a white-label brokerage, and each of these teams will have their own branding with Side providing back end support.

The addition of new Side agents was first reported by Inman News. The publication noted that before this wave, Side also partnered with its first New York team of agents in early June, led by Tal and Oren Alexander, who enjoy a celebrity clientele. The Alexander brothers came from New York-based luxury firm Douglas Elliman.

Side’s moves are the latest for a brokerage that it is simultaneously growing, shrinking, and staying cautious.

The addition of the Alexander brothers came a full six months after Side announced its intention to expand into New York. And the series of late June agent addition mark the one-year anniversary of Side saying it was prepping an initial public offering. That move hasn’t materialized as Wall Street’s valuation of real estate companies took a sharp turn for the worse in early 2022.

The firm announced a layoff of about 10% of its workforce in early June, with CEO Guy Gal acknowledging the company had grew too fast.

So, what about this subsequent growth of agent teams? A Side spokesperson said the company would not bring back any of its laid off workers or hire new ones.

“We’re currently well-staffed to support the 16 markets we are active in, as well as in the additional few states we will be active in by the end of the year,” the spokesperson said.

Asked about expansion strategy, a spokesperson said, “We enter new markets that strategically align with demand for our platform among top-tier agents.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated post-publication to include Side’s stated strategy on expansion.

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